Holding enormous untapped potential, Kenya’s insurance industry has expanded rapidly over the past 10 years, with both the life and non-life segments showing consistent double-digit growth. As of early 2013 there were 47 operating insurance companies in Kenya, including 24 non-life businesses, 11 life insurers and 12 composite firms. Although the sector is still dominated by the short-term motor segment, rapid uptake in life, medical and new micro-insurance products has seen lower-earning Kenyans gain coverage. The industry, however, faces formidable challenges – premium undercutting has put intense pressure on major players, while fraud and low penetration have hurt margins and prevented nationwide expansion of comprehensive coverage. Nevertheless, the market holds considerable promise in the medium and long term. The expansion of coverage to lower-income groups via micro-insurance products also promises new opportunities to expand the market.
This chapter contains an interview with Tom Gichuhi, CEO, Association of Kenyan Insurers (AKI).